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Alendronic acid and colecalciferol

al-en-dron-ik ass id and koh-lee-kal-sif-er-ol

What does it do?

Alendronic acid and colecalciferol is used to treat osteoporosis (weak bones). It helps to make your bones stronger and less likely to break.

How should you take it?

Take the alendronic acid and colecalciferol tablet once a week, on the same day each week. Take it in the morning. You need to take it at least 30 minutes before food or drink and other medicines. Alendronic acid can damage your oesophagus (food pipe). To avoid this, take it with a large glass of water. Swallow the tablet whole, do not crush or chew it. Sit or stand upright for at least 30 minutes after taking a dose.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose if you remember the next morning. If not, skip the dose and take the next week’s dose at the usual time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with alendronic acid and colecalciferol including:

  • calcium supplements (e.g. Calci-Tab®)
  • iron supplements (e.g. Ferro-Tab®)
  • antacids (e.g. Mylanta®)
  • orlistat (Xenical®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Trouble swallowing, chest pain

Indigestion or heartburn (new or getting worse)

Eye pain, changes in vision

Tell your doctor immediately

Joint, muscle or bone aches and pains

Stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney, parathyroid, dental or swallowing problems, or if you get heartburn or indigestion.
  • Before you have any dental work, tell your dentist you are taking alendronic acid and colecalciferol.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You need enough calcium in your diet to make sure alendronic acid and colecalciferol works properly for you. Discuss with your health professional.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. October 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed